Research Article


2019, 12(11): 2736–2742


High-throughput droplet microfluidic synthesis of hierarchical metal-organic framework nanosheet microcapsules

Songting Wu1, Zhong Xin1, Shicheng Zhao1 (*), and Shengtong Sun2 (*)

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1 Shanghai Key Laboratory of Multiphase Materials Chemical Engineering, School of Chemical Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology, 130 Meilong Road, Shanghai 200237, China
2 Center for Advanced Low-dimension Materials, National Engineering Research Center for Dyeing and Finishing of Textiles, Donghua University, 2999 North Renmin Road, Shanghai 201620, China

Keywords: metal–organic framework nanosheet, droplet microfluidics, microcapsule, hierarchical structure
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Using two-dimensional (2D) metal–organic framework (MOF) nanosheets as new building blocks to create more complex architectures at the mesoscopic/macroscopic scale has attracted extensive interest in recent years. Nevertheless, it remains a great challenge to assemble MOF nanosheets into hierarchical hollow structures so far. In this paper, we describe a successful example of hierarchical MOF nanosheet microcapsules, with precisely controlled sizes, produced on large scale within minutes with a continuous droplet microfluidic strategy. Following a reaction/diffusion growth mechanism, the microcapsule shells feature a continuous smooth inner layer and a porous outer layer. Such hierarchical structure enables the encapsulation of magnetite nanoparticles inside and loading of dense gold nanoparticles outside the microcapsules, which exhibit highly efficient heterogeneous catalytic activity and easy recyclability. The present microfluidic assembly method offers a new pathway for preparing hierarchical MOF nanosheet structures, with the potential for extension to the formation of other 2D nanosheets in general.
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High-throughput droplet microfluidic synthesis of hierarchical metal-organic framework nanosheet microcapsules. Nano Res. 2019, 12(11): 2736–2742

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